Students from 13 high schools in Carbon and Lehigh counties are taking part in volunteer cleanups along the D&L Trail on Wednesday. The participants are members of the Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21 Student Forum, an organization that offers students opportunities to work with area universities and businesses in problem-based learning events that emphasize higher thinking and a global perspective.

Student Forum representatives decided last fall to offer their services to the Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley for one-half day in April. The Volunteer Center in turn contacted the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, which maintains the D&L Trail from White Haven to Easton. D&L Outreach Coordinator, Dennis Scholl, was able to arrange work details at nine sites in Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties. Site supervisors were recruited from the D&L Trail Tenders organization, the City of Bethlehem, Lehigh Gorge State Park, the Walnutport Canal Association, Lehigh Gap Nature Center, the Allentown Hiking Club, and Hugh Moore Park in Easton.

More than 70 juniors and seniors are taking part in a variety of jobs including landscaping and planting at Lehigh Gap Nature Center and Hugh Moore Park; trail clearing at Lock 2 in Lehigh Gorge State Park; removing graffiti on the Fahy Bridge in Bethlehem; cleaning trash from the Lehigh Canal in Bethlehem and Lock 28 in White Haven, and removing invasive plants at Lock 13 in Parryville and Lock 25 in Walnutport.

"Having this much help on one day doesn't happen very often," said Scholl, who manages four Trail Tenders chapters in the D&L Corridor. "There was no way we could turn down an opportunity like this. I'm glad so many of our partners were able to offer supervisory assistance."

The students represent the following high schools: Catasauqua, Carbon County Technical Institute, Dieruff, Jim Thorpe, Lehighton, Northwestern Lehigh, Palmerton, Panther Valley, Salisbury, Southern Lehigh, Weatherly, Whitehall and William Allen. All students are chaperoned by teachers.

The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor fosters stewardship of historical, cultural and natural resources along the early canal and railroad systems that carried anthracite coal from mine to market in eastern Pennsylvania.

For more information, please contact Dennis Scholl at (610) 923-3548 x225 or dennis@delawareandlehigh.org.